Bartabas is an exceptionally talented horseman who has always
tried to pass on the skills of equestrian display through advanced training and his quest
became a complete reality in 2003, when the very first Equestrian Show Academy was set up
in the prestigious stables of the Chateau de Versailles in France.
The Académie du Spectacle Equestre is an academy that specialises in teaching equestrian
arts and is run by Bartabas and he recruits experienced riders from all over the world who
train here on the equestrian performance arts, and like any other artist, the Academy's
equerries practice everyday with their horses.
The academy is open to visits from the general public and shows are performed at set
times, but you can also get to see the stables and the training, which will provide you
with access to work within the ring and a greater understanding of this ancient art.
The Les Matinales des écuyers will allow you to discover these dressage sessions against
a baroque musical background, which is followed by a visit to the Grand Stables that have been restored at
the Chateau de Versailles, which is a short
journey from the City of Paris.
There are around 30 horses that now live in the restored 17th century royal stables of the
Chateau de Versailles and most of them are Lusitanian. It was their distinct
colouring of their cream coloured coat and their blue eyes that were originally
appreciated by King Louis XIV and they have always had a fantastic reputation.
However, there are other horses in the cavalry, such as Argentine Criollos, black Arab
thoroughbreds, one Shire horse, an Andalusian and a Quarter Horse.
Each horse will work according to its level of training and each student rider is
responsible for two horses, a confirmed one and a novice one and some of the confirmed
horses already have the experience of public performances within the Théâtre Equestre Zingaro.
There are over fifteen Equerries that follow a curriculum and they live and work together
in Versailles and they are of different nationalities and every year there are new riders
joining the Academy, but all have the same goals of gaining experience and later becoming
permanent riders of Academy.
There are currently five riding instructors, but every year there are new instructors
being appointed so as to expand the group further and each one is responsible for
initiating student equerries by teaching them how to invest themselves in their work, not
just for the benefit of themselves and the group, but also for the stage-work, as the
ultimate objective is to produce the phenomenal performances that are associated with
The Académie du Spectacle Equestre's internal organisation allows the riders to gain some
responsibilities within the Academy depending upon their competence, motivations and
The Académie du Spectacle Equestre stages hour long shows directed by Bartabas, that are
held on weekend afternoons and feature the horses performing to music, sometimes with
their riders and sometimes without.
And in the converted manège at the Grandes Écuries opposite the Chateau de Versaille you
can also get to experience some morning shows that feature academy students, along with
evening performances and some incredibly artistic fencing displays.
Please do bear in mind that the Chateau de Versailles is closed on Mondays and some
holidays, so it is always best to check the opening times and also the performance times
at the Académie du Spectacle Equestre prior to your arrival.
Address & Contact Details:
Académie du Spectacle Equestre
Grande Écurie du Château de Versailles
Telephone: +33 892 681 891 (0,34/mn)